NAME: Lewis Docherty
MODULE: Cultural Studies
ASSIGNMENT TITLE: Scottish National Identity
Social constructionist theories argue that identity, whether that of an individual or of a nation, is not merely an inherent feature of a person or a society, but is created by various influencing factors, both internal and external to the ‘subject’, within a wider social context which, to an extent, governs the ideology of ‘who they are’. Whether or not one subscribes to the idea that an individual’s identity is constructed by social environment and relationships, it is true that national identity, in this case Scotland’s national identity, is largely communicated to the world through various symbolic and linguistic means which together form a ‘code with which our entire society communicates and speaks of and to itself’. This code reaches us through, and is reinforced by, various cultural forms such as popular media – newspapers, television, radio, music and magazines – and literature, as well as cultural establishments such as museums and art galleries. As a nation, Scotland has a very strong and, in many ways, unique identity. Whether this popular conception of Scotland is accurate, or if it is, in fact, constructed by various influential forces – such as advertisements produced by Scottish businesses and tourist firms to take advantage of the nation’s massive economic opportunities in the field of tourism – is down to the individual’s perception of the country.